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South Slope historic district

History is made: Park Slope now boasts city’s biggest historic district

The Brooklyn Paper

Eat your heart out, Greenwich Village.

Park Slope’s already-expansive historic district became the largest in New York City on Tuesday when a panel approved a plan to the landmark a wide swath of the South Slope — protecting the neighborhood’s charming architecture from out-of-character development and giving the community bragging rights citywide.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to designate an additional eight blocks — from Seventh to 15th streets between Seventh and Eight avenues — as protected streets, a measure intended to bar out-of-context development in the neighborhood forever.

Thanks to the addition of 580 new historic buildings, Park Slope now boasts 2,575 protected edifices — surpassing Greenwich Village, the city’s previous record-holder, which falls to second place with 2,315 old-time-y structures.

“We’re excited,” said Peter Bray of Park Slope Civic Council. “It shows the city recognizes this is a very special neighborhood.”

He and other members of the community group have pushed to expand the Park Slope historic district — which already includes a long strip between Eighth Avenue and Prospect Park West and a portion of northern Park Slope — for years, saying the area’s 19th century character and charming brownstones are worth protecting.

The new historic district will force the owners of landmarked properties to seek special city permits before changing their facades or demolishing their homes — adding a level of oversight to aesthetic alterations in the community.

That pleases Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope), who said the South Slope’s unique architecture makes it worthy of becoming a living time capsule.

“These are some of the most beautiful streets in New York,” Lander said. “They’ll be enjoyed for generations to come.”

A separate effort to preserve a 12-block section of northern Park Slope between Fifth and Sixth avenues in the shadow of the soon-to-open Barclays Center remains under consideration by city officials.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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